Village of Kings Point, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Kings Point 11-19-1986 by L.L. No. 9-1986. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 60.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 91.
Parks — See Ch. 109.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 117.

§ 147-1 Findings; intent.

A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Kings Point hereby finds that there is a direct relationship between the preservation and planting of trees, shrubs and associated vegetation in sufficient numbers in the Village of Kings Point and the health, safety and welfare of Village residents and that trees, shrubs and associated vegetation are related to the natural, scenic and aesthetic values and the physical and visual qualities of the environment which the Village is obligated to protect. Trees and such vegetation reduce noise, provide welcome shade to Village residents, preserve the balance of oxygen in the air by removing carbon dioxide and fostering air quality and create a bucolic and rural atmosphere in the Village, especially along the roads. Trees also stabilize the soil and control water pollution by preventing soil erosion and flooding, yield advantageous climatic effects and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
B. 
The destructive and indiscriminate removal of trees and related vegetation causes increased Village costs for proper drainage control, impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing residential properties and impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in the area of the destruction and adversely affects the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Incorporated Village of Kings Point.

§ 147-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the following meanings:
APPLICANT
The owner, contract vendee or lessee of the real property or its duly authorized agent.
BUILDING INSPECTOR
The Building Inspector of the Village of Kings Point.
HABIT
The natural growing characteristics of any tree or specimen tree which includes branch spread and distribution, branch height above ground and root spread and distribution.
PERSON
Any resident of the Village of Kings Point or any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, public agency, public utility or organization of any kind or agent thereof.
REAL PROPERTY
Includes all unimproved and improved real property within the Incorporated Village of Kings Point.
SPECIMEN TREE
Any living, woody plant of the following species, if said plant shall have a height which is 24 inches or more above the ground at the base of the plant:
[Amended 11-18-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
A. 
Deciduous trees:
Ash (Fraxinus)
Birch (Betula)
Black Locust (Robinia)
Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus)
Elm (Ulmus)
Flowering Cherry (Prunus)
Flowering Crab Apple (Malus)
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus) (governed by state law)
Hawthorne (Crataegus)
Hickory (Carya and Hickoria)
Honey Locust (Gleditsia)
Hornbeam (Carpinus)
Horsechestnut (Aesculus)
Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora)
Linden (Tilia)
Magnolia (Magnolia)
Maidenhair (Ginkgo)
Maple (Acer)
Mountain Ash (Sorbus)
Oak (Quercus)
Plane Tree (Platanus)
Sassafras (Sassafras)
Service Berry (Amelanchier)
Sweet Gum (Liquidambar)
Sycamore (Platanus)
Tulip (Liriodendron)
Tupelo (Nyssa)
Walnut (Juglans)
Willow (Salix)
Yellow Wood (Cladrastis)
Zelcova
B. 
Evergreen trees:
Arbor Vitae (Thuja)
Cedar (Chamaecyparis and Thuja)
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga)
Fir (Abies)
Hemlock (Tsuga)
Holly (Ilex)
Pine (Pinus)
Spruce (Picea)
Yew (Taxus).
C. 
Shrubs.
(1) 
Evergreen. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia); Rhododendron (all species, hybrids and cultivars).
SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
Any cutting or drastic pruning or elevating the habit of a tree or specimen tree which impairs or endangers the life of such tree or specimen tree or destroys its natural symmetry and shall include but not be limited to heavy or unnecessary cutting of top branches and cutting of major lower limbs.
[Added 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]
VILLAGE
The Village of Kings Point.
[Added 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]

§ 147-3 Prohibitions.

[Amended 11-19-1986 by L.L. No. 11-1986; 6-16-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987; 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to cut down, remove or destroy any specimen tree or substantially alter the habit of any specimen tree on real property where said specimen tree is located within 20 feet of any property line which adjoins a street or road or within 15 feet of any other property line.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or occupies real property to cause, suffer, permit or allow the cutting down, removal or destruction of any specimen tree or the substantial alteration of the habit of any specimen tree on said real property where said specimen tree is located within 20 feet of any property line which adjoins a street or road or within 15 feet of any other property line, unless a permit shall have been issued for said work.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to cut down, remove or destroy any tree or substantially alter the habit of any tree located on real property if said tree shall have a diameter of six inches or more at a point which is four feet six inches above the ground at the base of the tree.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or occupies real property to cause, suffer, permit or allow the cutting down, removal or destruction of any tree or the substantial alteration of the habit of any tree on said real property if said tree shall have a diameter of six inches at a point which is four feet six inches above the ground at the base of the tree, unless a valid permit shall have been issued for said work.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for any person without a permit to cut down, remove, or destroy, or substantially alter the habit of:
[Added 11-18-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
(1) 
Any specimen tree; or
(2) 
Any other tree that shall have a diameter of six inches or more at a point that is four feet six inches above the ground at the base of the tree on real property of which such person is not the owner, without the consent of the owner. In any prosecution of a violation of this subsection, it shall be an affirmative defense that the person who engaged in such violative conduct had the consent of the owner of such real property.

§ 147-4 Application for permit.

A. 
Application for a permit shall be made to the Building Inspector.
B. 
The application shall be made on such form as may be prescribed by the Building Inspector and shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The purpose of proposed removal or alteration.
(3) 
The site of proposed removal or alteration.
(4) 
A sketch or plan of the area indicating the following:
(a) 
An outline of existing heavily wooded areas on the site showing the tree and specimen tree type and range of sizes.
(b) 
The location and size of trees or specimen trees to be removed.
(c) 
The location of any improvements on the real property.
(d) 
A license authorizing the Building Inspector, the Village of Kings Point and its designees to enter upon the property which is the subject of the application to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and to replace trees, if necessary, pursuant to § 147-7 of this chapter.
[Amended 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
(5) 
The name and address of the owner.
[Added 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
(6) 
The signatures of the applicant and the owner.
[Added 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
(7) 
Such additional data, drawings and surveys as the Building Inspector deems necessary to a review of the application.
[Added 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
C. 
The decision of the Building Inspector shall be based upon the following criteria:
(1) 
The condition of the trees or specimen trees with respect to disease and danger of falling, proximity to existing or proposed structures and interference with utility services.
(2) 
The necessity of the removal or alteration of the tree or specimen tree in question.
(3) 
The effect of the removal or alteration thereof on ecological systems.
(4) 
The character established at the proposed site of removal or alteration with respect to existing vegetation management practices.
(5) 
The impact of any removal or alteration upon existing screening of any road or highway bordering the property.
D. 
Any permit issued hereunder may be revoked and all work authorized by said permit halted if the Building Inspector shall find that the permit was obtained by false or misleading statements or the work being performed is not proceeding in accordance with the terms of the permit and the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989]
E. 
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall expire six months from and after the date of its issuance. No work may be performed under an expired permit.
[Added 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989]

§ 147-5 Fees.

[Amended 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991; 2-8-2000 by L.L. No. 3-2000; 11-27-2007 by L.L. No. 8-2007]
The application fee herein shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Trustees.[1] The fee shall be paid upon submission of the application and shall not be refundable except with respect to trees that the Building Inspector determines are either substantially dead or are so diseased, damaged, uprooted or otherwise affected that they are, or may reasonably be believed to soon become, a danger to persons or property.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A162, Fees.

§ 147-6 Removal of trees or specimen trees.

[Amended 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
A. 
Private property. Any tree growing on real property which constitutes a danger to a public street or public place or the public using the same or which in any way endangers the usefulness of a public sewer or utility lines or which by reason of infestation or blight endangers other trees in the Village shall be removed or the habit thereof altered by the owner of said real property as directed by the Building Inspector. In the event that the property owner fails to comply with the directive of the Building Inspector within the time specified by him, the Village may then take the action directed by the Building Inspector and assess the cost thereof against the property owner. The directive from the Building Inspector shall be in writing, shall clearly state the source of the danger, the action to be taken, the date by which such action must be taken and shall be served on the owner of the real property personally or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, addressed to said owner at the last address for said owner on the tax records of the Village. If served by mail, the notice shall be deemed received three days after the notice is deposited in a depository maintained by the United States Postal Service.
B. 
Public property. Nothing herein shall limit the authority of the Superintendent of Public Works of the Village or his designee to remove or alter the habit of any tree on public property which he deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents.

§ 147-7 Replacement.

[Amended 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989]
A. 
As a condition to the issuance of a permit under this chapter, the Building Inspector may require the replacement in kind of one or more of the trees to be cut down, removed or destroyed when the individual character of the tree or trees or the ecological setting requires special consideration. The location and time for planting of the replacement tree or trees shall be specified by the Building Inspector in the permit for removal. The applicant and the owner of the real property affected shall each be responsible for planting replacement trees as specified in the permit. Failure to comply with planting required by the Building Inspector shall constitute a violation of this section.
B. 
In order to guarantee any tree replacement required pursuant to Subsection A of this section, the Building Inspector, as further condition to the issuance of a permit, shall require the applicant to deposit with the Village of Kings Point a sum of money, surety bond or letter of credit equal to the total estimated cost of such replacement in accordance with a schedule of costs adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Kings Point. The bond or letter of credit shall be in such form and issued by such sureties or banking institutions as meet the requirements established by said Board of Trustees. If the applicant shall fail to replace a tree or trees in accordance with the directive of the Building Inspector, the Village may enter upon the property involved to make such replacement and may use any security deposited by the applicant to defray the cost thereof. The making of the application shall constitute a license to the Village of Kings Point, its Building Inspector and other authorized representatives of the Village to enter upon the real property which is the subject of the application in order to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the replacement of trees.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
C. 
Any person who cuts down, removes, or destroys a tree or substantially alters the habit of a tree and any person who solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids another person to engage in such conduct and any owner or occupant of real property who causes, suffers, or permits a tree on said property to be cut down, removed, or destroyed without first receiving a permit to do so shall immediately replace the same in kind as directed by the Building Inspector.
[Amended 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991; 11-18-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]

§ 147-8 Protection of trees.

[Added 12-18-1991 by L.L. No. 3-1991[1]]
All trees on property on which demolition, excavation, grading or construction activity is conducted shall be guarded with a substantial fence at all times when any of said activities are taking place. The fence shall be at least four feet high and shall completely enclose the trunk of the tree at a distance from the trunk equal to the greater of six inches for each one inch of the tree's diameter at a point one foot above grade at the base of the tree, or four feet. On application of the owner or the owner's agent the Building Inspector may waive the necessity of the fence for one or more trees where he finds that distance, existing natural features or man-made structures afford adequate protection for such tree or trees. No person shall conduct any demolition, excavation, grading or construction activity on a property without erecting and maintaining thereon the fences above required.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 147-8 and 147-9 as §§ 147-9 and 147-10, respectively.

§ 147-9 Appeals.

A. 
Any person aggrieved by an act or determination of the Building Inspector in the exercise of the authority herein granted shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals, the decision of which shall be final and conclusive.
B. 
An appeal shall be in writing, stating the decision appealed from and the reasons for the appeal.

§ 147-10 Enforcement; penalties for offenses.

[Amended 6-20-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 3-26-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991]
A. 
The Building Inspector shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. In the absence or inability of the Building Inspector to perform said duties, the same shall be performed by an Assistant Building Inspector or other person designated by resolution of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Kings Point.
B. 
Penalties.
[Amended 11-18-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
(1) 
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a violation under the New York State Penal Law and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to:
(a) 
A fine of not more than $5,000 for each tree illegally removed, destroyed or substantially altered; a fine of not more than $5,000 for each replacement tree not planted; and a fine of not more than $5,000 for any other such violation; or
(b) 
Imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 days; or
(c) 
Both such fine and such imprisonment.
(2) 
Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder."

§ 147-11 Suspension of permit or other approval.

[Added 11-18-2004 by L.L. No. 3-2004]
A. 
In the event that any property owner or any other person performing work with the consent, express or implied, of the property owner shall violate any provision or condition of any permit or other approval of an application from any department, board, or committee of the Village by removing, destroying, or substantially altering the habit of a tree, or by suffering, permitting, or allowing the removal, destruction, or substantial alteration of the habit of a tree on such property, such permit or other approval shall be suspended. Such suspension shall continue and no further action shall be taken pursuant to such approval, until such person shall apply to the departments, boards, and/or committees which granted such permits or approvals for modifications thereof based upon the removal, destruction, or substantial alteration of the habit of such tree or trees. Upon such application, such departments, boards, and/or committees may modify such permits or approvals by implementing such conditions, including, but not limited to, the requirement that one or more new trees of the same height and/or caliper as the illegally removed tree or trees be planted and maintained for a specific period of time, not to exceed five years, or such other condition or conditions as such departments, boards, and/or committees might deem appropriate. Such conditions may also include a prohibition of any further work on such property until the replacement tree or trees have been planted and that a declaration of covenants and restrictions be recorded by the owner of the property, running with the land, to assure that such conditions with regard to such replacement trees shall be enforceable against all future owners.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, the Building Inspector shall have the authority to authorize and/or direct that the property owner and/or any other person performing work with the consent, express or implied, of the property owner take such actions as in the sole discretion of the Building Inspector are reasonable and/or necessary to maintain the property in a safe condition and to assure that all relevant stormwater, sediment and erosion control, and tree protection measures are implemented and maintained, and that such other actions, as the Building Inspector may determine to be in the best interests of the Village, are implemented and maintained until such application has been made, a decision thereon has been rendered by such departments, boards, and/or committees, and the additional conditions, if any, of such departments, boards, and/or committees have been implemented.